Accelerating AI in ASEAN: Addressing Disparities, Challenges, and Regional Policy Imperatives
Artificial intelligence (AI) is attracting significant attention worldwide in 2023 because of its potential to transform economies and societies. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must accelerate the debate on AI for five compelling reasons. First, narrowing the gaps in AI readiness within ASEAN is essential to share the benefits of AI equitably. Second, there are concerns that rapid advances in AI could result in job loss, and retraining is needed. Third, AI systems must be developed from an ASEAN-centric perspective to overcome prejudice and align AI with ASEAN values. Fourth, as developed countries implement AI regulations, ASEAN needs to consider the need for its own regional policies. Finally, now is the perfect time to discuss the positioning of AI in the regional framework as ASEAN’s digital integration initiative progresses. The paper discusses the significance of AI in 2023, the challenges in ASEAN, the need for its own policies, and policy recommendations.